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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CNU chapter.

I’m an avid reader and have been for as long as I can remember. Getting older and living my college girl life leaves me with very little time for “fun” reading, because trust me, I do plenty of textbook and journal readings daily. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite books I read this summer, in case you need a bit of inspiration for your next read, or maybe you’re like me and are always looking for new books to add to your never ending TBR list!

The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis

The Monk is a gothic horror novel, set in Madrid, Spain during the Spanish Inquisition. Following a monk, Ambrosio, we see that life, love, and temptation could be just as messy in the 17th century as it gets in modern day. This was actually an assigned reading for my Gothic Imagination Study Abroad class over the summer, and I absolutely fell in love with it. The best way for me to describe it, without giving any spoilers of course, is like a spooky, extremely- dramatic telenovela from the Renaissance era.

A Man Called ove by Fredrik Backamn

A Man Called Ove is a Swedish fiction novel that you’ve likely seen the movie advertisement for, A Man Called Otto, staring Tom Hanks. Ove is your typical grumpy old man, living alone and loathing the “idiot” people of his neighborhood, especially the cat. But despite Ove’s off-putting manner, he starts to attract and build a little family of his own, while still getting to be accepted as himself.

The Promise of Spring by Savannah James

So this one is a totally shameless plug. The Promise of Spring is a Hades and Persephone retelling, written by Savannah James, MY BEST FRIEND. She worked so hard on this book for so long and just self-published it in August of 2023. From comedic relief characters, dark back stories, and an epic friends to lovers storyline, you won’t be able to put this AMAZING novel down. Not only will I attach the Goodreads link below, but also the Amazon link if you decide you’d like to support her and buy your own copy!


she is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran

She Is A Haunting is a more modern ghost/gothic story set in the beautiful countryside of Vietnam. It gives strong The Haunting of Hill House vibes, with a house with a dark past, characters experiencing unexplainable events, and an overall eerie ambience on every page. As someone who isn’t a fan of the traditional scary books and stories, this was right up my alley, scratching my paranormal itch without totally terrifying me.

the cabin at the end of the world by Paul Tremblay

The Cabin at the End of the World is a suspenseful, psychological thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat. It took me awhile to pick this one up, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. The story and characters were so wonderfully written that it had me so absorbed the whole time and really had me connecting with the characters, especially the ones I hadn’t expected to like at all. This book definitely didn’t end the way I wanted it to, or even the way I predicted it would, but that won’t stop me from recommending it as a fun read!

Allison is a Junior at Christopher Newport University, studying Psychology and Leadership Studies. She enjoys reading, writing poetry, and listening to Alt Rock music. Find her on insta @allibryan